All right. Some friends and I brought up the dunk contest in the last few weeks. If someone asked me what my favorite dunk of all-time was in a dunk contest… I can easily respond with this.
Yes, it’s in the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. The overall dunk contest was arguably the best of all-time in NBA history, with an awesome field of Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, and, yes, Vince Carter.
Anyway, my favorite dunk starts at 7:15 of the video. It was Vince Carter’s first dunk. The anticipation was killing all of us. Seemed like even Larry Hughes and T-Mac were excited and THEY were IN the contest. We all knew Vince Carter could dunk (I even remember seeing him do a windmill facial on somebody in college) but I didn’t really know what he was capable of.
He added the anticipation by walking toward the court… then walking away as he measured what he was going to do. Then he got ready… and then made his run to the rim. What even made this more special was that Marv Albert made the call…
“Here is Vince Carter with his first… STUFF!!!”
After he did a 360 the other way combined with a windmill… I just jumped up from my seat and yelled, “WHOOOAAAAAA!!!” Granted, I had seen many 360 windmills in the past (Larry Johnson in ’92 comes to mind) but I had never seen an awesome combination of flair, power, finesse, and hops all in one dunk. And didn’t I mention he went THE OTHER WAY with his 360?!
The volume was turned way up when my friends and I were watching so we heard the Oakland crowd explode. And the players’ reactions were priceless. Shaquille O’Neal‘s eyes were bugging out. Kevin Garnett froze as he couldn’t believe what he saw. And Kenny Smith‘s (who was one of the judges) excitement could hardly be contained as he shouted, “LET’S GO HOME! LET’S GO HOME!!!”
Everyone loves Vince Carter’s between-the-legs dunk and, yeah, it is a difficult dunk and that was also another great moment in dunk contest history. But the first dunk (that 360 windmill) he did stands out the most to me. He hadn’t done anything yet, he built the anticipation, and then, out of nowhere, made the crowd explode with that awesome, awesome 360 windmill.
Vince said it was a winger during Cheryl Miller‘s interview. And then on the dunk contest show, Airborne, he said he was so excited about doing this 360. Stop being so modest, Vince. You knew you could do it. Ha ha.